Miners buoy Australian shares back to gains


Nov 12 (Reuters) - Australian stocks rose on Friday after four straight sessions of losses, as miners extended gains on relief that China Evergrande Group averted a default and a shock from a surprisingly strong U.S. inflation print eased.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.83% higher at 7,443, cutting its weekly losses to 0.2%.

Miners jumped 2.1% and were the biggest boost to the benchmark index after a strong rebound in iron ore prices on Thursday. The index added 5.2% for the week.

Sector heavyweights BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue added between 1.9% and 3.4% on Friday. BHP's climate action plan received shareholder approval on Thursday, after a tussle with proxy advisory firms which recommended shareholders vote against it.

Greenland Minerals, which is not a part of the index, nosedived 29.6% as Greenland's new legislation to ban uranium mining and cease development of the Australian rare-earths miner's Kuannersuit mine threatened its operations.

"The benchmark index is shining on the back of an improvement in iron ore and copper prices while taking a strong lead from gains on Wall Street," said Kunal Sawhney, chief executive officer of equity research firm Kalkine Group.

"It seems investors have already digested the weak employment report for October, which brought the labour market recovery into question."

On Thursday, data showed employment in Australia suffered a shock fall in October and the jobless rate jumped.

Financials gained 0.6% but were down 0.6% for the week. Major lenders climbed between 0.04% and 0.9% on Friday.

Tech stocks rose 1.8% and also helped the benchmark index close higher, with heavyweights Afterpay and Xero gaining 2% and 3% respectively. The sector tracked overnight gains in the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was down 0.91% to 12,908.15. (Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)